Benchmarking the GHG emissions intensities of crop and livestock–derived agricultural commodities produced in Latvia
Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Economics and Social Development, Institute of Economics and Regional Development, Svetes street 18, LV-3001, Jelgava, Latvia
With the production of grain and livestock–derived agricultural commodities increasing, the agricultural sector has become one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Latvia. In 2016, the agricultural sector contributed to 23.6% of the total GHG emissions originated in Latvia (266.4 kt CO2eq), and therefore the mitigation of the emissions is important. Considering the new indicative target, Latvia must reduce its GHG emissions in the non-ETS sectors by 2030 (Regulation 2018/842) so that the emissions do not exceed the 2005 level. The research aims to estimate the emissions intensities (EI) of grain and livestock-derived commodities produced in Latvia and benchmark the EI against those for other countries. The GHG EI were analysed per kilogram of product (kg CO2eq kg-1) and per hectare currently in use agricultural land (kg CO2eq ha-1). The main part of the GHG emissions of crop production originated from fertilizer application (direct N2O emissions) and soil liming (direct CO2 emissions). The main part of the GHG emissions of livestock–derived production originated from livestock enteric fermentation (direct CH4 emissions) and from manure management systems (direct CH4 and N2O emissions). The EI per hectare of industrial crops and grain were 550.5 and 438.4 kg CO2eq ha-1, respectively. The yield and fertilizer application had a strong impact on the EI per kilogram of product. Pulses had a lower EI (0.003 kg CO2eq kg-1), while industrial crops (0.17 kg CO2eq kg-1) and grain (0.09 kg CO2eq kg-1) had the highest EI. A comparison of the GHG EI of crop and livestock–derived agricultural commodities per kilogram of product between Latvia and other EU Member States showed: Latvia had the lowest grain EI (0.09 kg CO2eq kg-1), but one of the highest cattle meat EI (25.18 kg CO2eq kg-1) and milk EI (0.64 kg CO2eq kg-1).